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HISTORIC OCONTO COUNTY CHURCH HISTORIES


 ST. JOHN LUTHERAN CHURCH
HAYES - TOWN OF HOW
Oconto County, Wisconsin
Written by Laura Bartz with excerpts from 50 Year History by John Radloff.

During the 19th century, religion in German did not retain the purity we like to think existed after the
Reformation. There was an age of "Rationalism", founded on the idea that man's reason was the
safest guide in everything. This led again to the idea that man is saved by good works, because that
is the reasonable thing to believe.

Some of the people looking for a better place in which to safeguard and promote their faith in Jesus
as the only way to Heaven were the founders of our Missouri Synod who emigrated to Missouri in
1836. Another family was the Dicke family. Still more were some pioneers who settled in the Town of
How, Oconto County.

Peter H. Dicke became interested in being a missionary to American after reading appeals from the
Missouri Synod Lutherans. He studied theology in Nurnberg, then came to America and continued
studying in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Pastor Dicke served 5 years in Michigan, then in Mayville,
Wisconsin, later in Belle Plaine and Pella in Shawano County, and in 1874, he moved to Town
Washington, near Cecil.

Late in 1875, William and Johanna Bartz homesteaded a tract of land in Oconto County. In the spring
of 1876, Johanna, carrying their infant son, Franc, and with Marie, their four year old daughter,
trudging at her heels, walked some 25 miles along wilderness trails leading through the Indian
Reservation to have the child baptized by Rev. Dicke. When Pastor Dicke heard that there were a few
other Lutheran families near there, he said, "Now it is time that these people also have the word of
God preached to them."

Not regularly, but faithfully, and as often as possible, Pastor Dicke traveled by horseback to the Town
of How. He held services in the home of Herman Yakel, the oldest settler in the Town of How.

When Edward Suring settled on the present Ruben Rakow farm, Pastor Dicke held a second service
in their home. Besides the Herman Yakels and Edward Surings, the attendants at these services
were: Robert Yakel, William Bartz and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Moewe, Carl Schroeder, and Mrs. Henry
Johnson.

It was several years before our people were able to raise collections to pay even a part of the expense
of Pastor Dicke's trips here.

His attitude was: "What else could I expect? Had I not come to America for that very purpose, to be a
missionary?"

So, ten years passed, but during those ten years other "missionaries" came, never asking for
contributions, praising good works, perverting the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. When our
forefathers began to realize that, unless the pure Gospel was preached as zealously as these false
teachers were working, it would be lost entirely, they decided to organize a congregation, to buy
land, and to build a church.

And so, according to a deed from the Oconto Company, dated August 2, 1886, 40 acres, more or less
according to government survey, was purchased approximately near the center of the Town of How.
The price of the land a mere (to us) $100.00, but in those days, when a family's cash income for a year
might not exceed $50.00, it seemed astronomical.

Accurate records could not be found, but a list of twenty men, who each contributed $5.00 seems to
have included:

William Buhrandt - Frederick Hischke
Herman Yakel - August Ruch
William Bartz - John Pethke
Edward Suring - John Venzke
August Schuettpelz - Frederick Drewe
William Schuettpelz - Christian Hein
Ferdinand Schuettpelz - Herman Elfe
Martin Schuettpelz - Gustave Hischke
Christian Zaddack - Carl Kruschke
William Schoessow - August Buhrandt

Of these, William Buhrandt, August Ruch, and William Bartz were chosen as "elders".

During the winter of 1886, trees were felled on the newly acquired church property and during the
summer of 1887 a church was built and furnished by volunteer labor. Except for the small, cheap
windows, no money was required. In November it was formally dedicated to the glory of God during a
service in charge of Pastor Dicke, wherein Pastor Ebert of Shawano preached the sermon.

Pastor Dicke still served our congregation while living in Town Washington; making the long
journeys in buggy or cutter, as the seasons passed. In 1892, Rev. John Huchthausen was called to
our sister congregation of Immanuel, Gillett, and also agreed to serve the congregation, as well as
other newly-organized congregations in Oconto County, as pastor Dicke was advancing in age and
had other steadily increasing responsibilities.

After the first wave of immigration, at the end of which our congregation was formed, had passed,
settlers filtered in more slowly, but rather steadily, notwithstanding. Whatever records were kept have
long since been lost, unfortunately for us, as they must have been records of heroic effort. At least,
no written records survive from earlier than the beginning of the 1890's. The first confirmation class
entered in the church records now existing is the Class of 1895. But, beyond a doubt, the first regular
confirmation ceremony to be performed here took place seven years earlier, when the following were
confirmed by Pastor Dicke: William Zaddack, Alvin Hischke, William Bartz, August A. Schuettpelz,
Anna Hein, and the two Bertha Schuettpelzes.

In 1894, Pastor Huchthausen received a call to Upper Michigan. He was succeeded as pastor in Gillett
by Rev. F. Uplegger, who also served St. John congregation. When Pastor Uplegger left Gillett for
Denmark in 1899, plans were begun to build a parsonage and call a resident pastor. Rev. Heike, also
a pastor of Immanuel, served as vacancy pastor. When it was learned that Rev. Uplegger would like
to return to the United States, St. John congregation extended a call and he accepted.

During the next four years, our congregation prospered. A parsonage was constructed according to
a plan drawn by Rev. Uplegger, and many other houses in the community were patterned after it.
Credit for beginning a systematic record of meetings and statistics of the congregation must also go
to Pastor Uplegger. During his years here, discussion took place concerning the construction of a
new church building. In 1903, when Pastor Uplegger left us for the second time to accept a call to
Hamburg, Germany, plans were fairly definite to build a new brick church, and to arrange for the
regular instruction of the young people in religion and the German language. Such instruction had
been given in the pastor's home, some young people boarding with the pastor's family or a near-by
relative during a few months of the winter. Mrs. Uplegger assisted her husband in teaching the young
people. Messers. Martin Plass, David Larsen, and Jacob Pfeiffer also taught during this time.

In 1903, we extended a call to Rev. A. C. Plass to be our second full time pastor for an annual salary of
$450.00 plus free rent and firewood and an opportunity to do some farming on the side.

The plan for a new church, submitted by architect Gruenhagen of Oshkosh, was approved in the
spring of 1904, and he was given a contract to supply the necessary carpentry, besides supervising
the general construction. William Buhrandt undertook to supply all the required masonry, bricklaying
and building of the foundation. What a blessing, for the third time, our 40 acre tract of woodland
proved to be! Stones for the foundation and lumber for the old church, the parsonage, and now the
new church, besides quantities of firewood over the years and a large grove for the outside services
and picnics are all products of our forefathers' foresight.

On November 13th, 1904, the dedication took place. Pastors L. Schuetz and D. Markworth each
preached a German sermon, an English sermon was preached by Pastor L. Schmidtke of Chippewa
Falls, the first English sermon preached in our midst. (It seems Pastor Uplegger had preached an
occasional Danish sermon in Maple Valley and this English sermon was a gesture of friendship to
those we had invited to be our guests.)

The old log building had been moved to the south-east corner of the land to make way for the new
church and it was now used as a schoolhouse until the spring of 1913, although some classes were
still held in the pastor's home. When Pastor Plass was called in 1903, it was specified that the new
pastor must be willing to instruct three days a week from October until Palm Sunday, on which
Sunday confirmation services usually took place. For three terms, Pastor Plass appears to have
taken complete charge of the school. In 1906, it was resolved to hire a lady teacher to teach for a term
of three months. The amount the Pastor collected and paid to the teacher as salary was $133.00. After
several years, the term was expanded to five months; then six months became the rule until 1926.
Misses Lydia Markworth, Marie Schliebe, Mathilda Destinon, Magdalene Gilhoff and Anna List taught
from 1906-1913.

A new brick schoolhouse was built in 1913 at a cost almost as great as that of the church erected in
1904, although it was much smaller in size and much simpler in construction. Mr. Paul Jank, a divinity
student, was the first instructor in the new school. Misses Ella Raasch and Ella Pagenkopf each
taught two terms. Mr. Harold Plass and Miss Gertrude Simon each taught one year, followed by Miss
Martha Struck, who held the position from 1921-1925, then married Fred Hischke and became a
permanent member of our congregation. Miss Esther Pahlow taught during the term 1925-1926.

St. John's German parochial school, conducted in much the same manner as a "Volksschule" in
Germany during the latter half of the nineteenth century furnished instruction in Bible stories,
Catechism, and German reading, writing and speaking. The school was wholly supported by the
congregation, independent of state regulations.

It was uncommon for boys and girls at that time to continue formal education beyond the eighth
grade. After completing the eighth grade in a public school, or frequently a year or two before
completing it, our young folks attended the parochial school, and thus gained their last impression of
formal education in religious surroundings. As the German language was almost exclusively used in
our church, these two years of education, coming at a most critical period of a child's life, were of
great benefit to them.

However, during and after World War I, the German language was used less and less. Most parents at
this time had been born in America and received most of their education in English, attending
parochial school probably two or three years at the most. Although the German instruction probably
made a deep impression on them, they could not expect their children to receive the same benefit
from it. Children reaching school age during the War, and ever since, rarely learned enough German
to understand much of what they heard in church.

The increasing desire for English church services eventually led Pastor Plass to preach occasional
sermons in English during his last years here and to instruct children, when necessary, in English.

In 1921, under the guidance of Pastor Plass, a Ladies' Aid Society was organized, with 23 ladies as
charter members, to do missionary and welfare work within the congregation and the Missouri
Synod. One of the Society's purposes was to aid needy students preparing for the ministry. It also
helps congregation members at times of weddings and funerals by preparing meals. The "Ladies Aid
Potato Pancake Supper", held the last Sunday of October, has become an annual event looked
forward to by all. Some accomplishments through the years have been: refinishing the floor of the
church, buying tables, chairs, dishes and a large stove for the church basement, extensive
remodeling of the kitchen, and donating generously to other congregation projects. The ladies make
many quilts every year for Lutheran World Relief, buy Bibles for the third grade pupils in our school,
and donate monthly to the American Bible Society and to Marshall and Vanice Schultz, Bible
translators in Africa. There are 26 members at the present time.

Our congregation joined Synod in January, 1926. At that time it was The Evangelical Lutheran Synod
of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States, now it is our Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod or LCMS.

Pastor Plass labored among us for 23 years. He resigned in 1926 due to failing health. Before he left,
a call was sent to Rev. O. W. Schreiber, then pastor in Mellen, Wisconsin. Pastor Schreiber accepted
the call and was installed July 11, 1926.

From the wording of his call, Pastor Schreiber had expected a parochial school where both religious
and secular subjects were taught and which complied with state requirements in the secular area. He
had accepted the call mainly, he said, because we possessed such a school. And what did he find
upon his arrival? A german school! "Well", suggested one of the board members, "why not make it a
Christian Day School?" So on that very occasion, despite numerous expenditures required almost at
once, our German school changed into the type of school it is today.

Miss Emma Donath, later Mrs. Hubert Scheer, was hired to teach for nine months (1926-1927), not
only religion, but all standard public school subjects as well, to all grades from first to eighth. The
pastor instructed the confirmation classes for two years before conformation and taught German to
those pupils who wanted to learn that language. This was integrated into the regular days' classes.

Miss Clara Hasz taught the next year (1927-1928) followed by Miss Dorothy Bergmann, who remained
four years, (1928-1932). A male graduate of River Forest, Mr. E. E. Schmidtke, taught for three years,
followed by Mr. L. Piotter and Mr. H. Mroch each teaching one year.

Thus, our children have been receiving both religious and secular instruction in a Christian
atmosphere throughout their primary education and are ready to continue in a secondary school as
soon as they receive their eighth grade diploma. There is, besides a saving of two whole years, a
skillful combining of education with religion that impresses on the children the necessity of God's
word daily as a part of their training for life. This is of special importance when religion plays as small
role in the everyday family life. Our eighth grade graduates going on to Suring High School have
earned a good reputation for our school. They are by no means deficient in their secular education.

During the summer of 1926, Pastor Schreiber led the young people, those between confirmation and
marriage, into organizing St. John's Young People's Society. Miss Emma Donath, the teacher of our
day school, was the Society's first president. The aims of the Society were Bible Study, making
improvements within the church, and supplying wholesome forms of recreation for the young people
in our congregation. A noteworthy undertaking was the redecoration of the church interior in 1934. At
one time, the society was a member of the Walther League, the young peoples' organization of the
LC-MS and provided a president of the North Wisconsin District of the Walther League, James
Schuettpelz.

Other improvements from 1926-1936 were the electrification of our church, school and parsonage,
excavation and building of a basement beneath the church for meetings, dinners and fellowship,
improvement of the heating systems in church, school and pastor's residence, complete renovation
and beautiful redecoration of the interior of the church by the Y.P.S., and the fixing of a gold cross in
place of a wrought iron spire on the steeple.

The English language rose to occupy an equal status with the German. In 1933, a Sunday School was
begun with an enrollment of 70 children. An adult Bible Class was also begun ant taught by the
Pastor.

On June 7, 1936, our congregation celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Rev. Uplegger returned from his
duties among the Apache Indians in Arizona to preach a German sermon in the morning service. Rev.
Frank Hischke, up until 1936, the only pastor our congregation had produced, and at that time a
pastor for deaf-mutes in St. Louis, conducted an afternoon service in English. Another English
service was held in the evening with Rev. H. Paul Westmeyer, pastor of our sister congregation in
Suring, preaching the sermon.

In February, 1937, a motion was passed in the congregational meeting "that Rev. Schreiber be
permitted to take a more active part in the R.E.A. temporarily, if a helper can be provided to take his
place in the congregation, when necessary." Although the buildings on the church property were
serviced by the Wisconsin Public Service, establishing a Rural Electrification Co-operative in Oconto
County benefitted many of our rural members and, eventually, the congregation buildings were also
joined to the Co-op, giving us cheaper current.

In 1937, Mr. Clarence Radl of New Ulm, Minnesota, answered our call to become teacher of our
Christian Day School. During his tenure here, her married a daughter of our congregation, Elsie
Schuettpelz who had been a public school teacher. She loved teaching and took charge of the lower
grades for her husband without any extra expense to the congregation. Our enrollment almost
doubled in a few years.

Because we now had a married teacher, a home had to be provided. When Mr. &. Mrs. Radl moved to
Menominee, Wisconsin, in 1945, we extended a call to Mr. F. C. Groth of New Orleans. Mr. Groth had
been a missionary in Brazil early in his career. He was an excellent organist.

The old reed organ, having outlived its usefulness in leading a large congregation in song, was
replaced by a new two-manual pipe organ, built in our church by Lee Stoll of Oshkosh in 1946. Mr.
Bunjes, of Wausau, served as our consultant.

Mrs. Groth also assisted her husband and was paid a small salary. When she retired because of ill
health in 1952, Irene Rakow was engaged to take over the lower grades, but fell victim to a polio
attack just before school started. Miss Norma Natzke of Wayside was persuaded to fill in until
January when Miss Rakow and Miss Ruth Hischke took over. After that Irene taught for two years.

During World War II, 28 men and two ladies from our congregation served in the Armed Forces. Two
men lost their lives, Wesley Schumann (Schuettpelz) and Harold Stuewer.

In the early forties, an international women's organization was begun in the Lutheran
Church-Missouri Synod, having Missionary Inspiration, Missionary Education, and Missionary
Service as its goals. Originally, our Ladies' Aid Society joined as a whole, devoting one meeting every
four months to the Lutheran Women's Missionary League. But some members of the Ladies' Aid did
not care to participate in the LWML projects and some ladies of the congregation wanted to be
members of the LWML without belonging to the Ladies' Aid, so the societies separated. There were
12 charter members and now are 22. We have sent numerous packages to Germany, and did some
sewing for needy children after World War II. We usually send money as a Christmas gift to a
missionary's wife. We have our "mite boxes", the contents of which are collected every three months
and sent to aid in District and International Projects. We have a fall and spring Zone Rally, besides a
District and International convention in alternating years, and a Retreat every year at Camp Luther.

In 1952, the school received extensive remodeling, providing a better room for the primary grades.
Indoor toilets were installed, probably the first such improvement to any rural school in Oconto
County. A school dedication service was held on the second Sunday in September, 1952.

Also in 1952, we sponsored some German families displaced during World War II. A house near the
church was refurbished for them. The first family stayed only a short time as they had relatives in
Illinois and soon moved there. The second family prospered, bought a farm, and some members of it
are still members of our congregation.

In 1937, divine services were conducted both in German and in English. Over the years, less German
was being spoken and fewer people could understand it. In 1953, one German service was held in the
morning of the first Sunday each month with an English service in the evening. In December, 1955,
there was a special motion passed to have a German service on Second Christmas Day. There was
usually a German service on New Year's Day and Easter Monday at that time also.

Mr. Groth having accepted a call in November 1954 to Manawa, Wisconsin, we called Mr. Robert
Nehrig from Nebraska. He taught from January, 1955, to the summer of 1957 when he moved to
Michigan. Miss Helen Wenger was our primary teacher for almost two years, 1955-1957, Mrs. Harold
Bartz finishing the spring term in 1957. Miss Wenger became Mrs. Roland Hischke in 1956. A
graduate of River Forest Teachers College in Illinois, Mr. Even Schiller, taught for one year and in
1958, Miss Regine Haendschke began a two year term. Miss Wenger and Miss Haendschke were both
native Wisconsinites, Miss Wenger coming from Wisconsin Rapids and Miss Haendschke from
Hortonville. In 1957-58, a congregation member who had been a public school teacher, Mrs. Karl
Marcheske, taught the upper grades, although Mr. Schiller was principal. In 1958, Mr. Larry
Scheuerlein became principal and teacher of the upper grades. Her was succeeded in 1960 by Mr.
Harold Krueger and Miss Haendschke was followed by Miss Beverly Zahrt of Wausau. Miss Zahrt
taught for two years, 1960-62. Miss Pauline Becker of Ontario, Canada then taught two years 1962-64,
as did Miss Hilda McClone from White Clay Lake 1964-1966, all teaching the primary grades while Mr.
Krueger taught the upper grades.

In January, 1954, a redecoration of the church was discussed but only the ceiling was replaced.
Before a new pastor arrived in 1956, the parsonage was completely renovated.

Pastor Schreiber, after serving faithfully for 30 years, tendered his resignation in April, 1956. He
remained in Hayes and a member of our congregation until his death, May 8, 1968. His beloved wife,
who presided over the parsonage for 30 years, preceded him in death March 6, 1963.

While Rev. Westphal, of Gillett, served as vacancy pastor, calls for a pastor were extended and
returned until, after receiving the call twice, Rev. Wendling from Auburndale accepted and was
installed Sept. 15, 1957.

On October 20, 1957, it was voted to have men and women receive communion at the same time. The
old German custom of men and women each occupying the benches on separate sides of the church
sanctuary had gradually been discarded and now whole families could partake of the Lord's Supper
together.

It was decided to celebrate the 75th anniversary of our congregation on Sept. 17, 1961. Pastor
Schreiber and Pastor Waldemar Hischke preached, the ladies served dinner and all confirmands from
1950 on were specially invited. At this time, our congregation numbered approximately 515 baptized
members, 340 communicants, and 105 voting members.

A Parent-Teacher League was formed as an auxiliary of our school in 1961 under the direction of Mr.
Krueger. Topics pertaining to our school curricula are presented and discussed at the meetings. The
League fosters closer home-school-church relations as well as providing for needs of the school not
met by the congregation budget. It has purchased science equipment, an FM radio and record player,
a TV, a vacuum cleaner, and recently, a computer to bring our children into the modern age of
computers. The mothers in the P.T.L. furnish a hot lunch for the school children every Wednesday
noon through arrangements made at P.T.L. meetings.

In May, 1962, a cemetery association was formed to take care of the church cemetery. It was hoped
the interest from money donated to the cemetery fund will eventually provide for the upkeep of the
cemetery.

In 1963, a lighted cross was added to the steeple to proclaim to the community the foundation of our
faith.

Rev. Wendling received a call to Emmaus Lutheran Church at Waupaca in November, 1962.
Regretfully, we released him, but asked him to stay until after confirmation. On March 1, 1963 a call
was sent to Rev. William Chellew. He accepted and was installed on May 5, 1963.

The matter of renovating our church building was again discussed. A committee consisting of Rev.
Chellew, Theodore Adams, Conrad Bartz, James Brauer, Elmer Gardebrecht, Martin Hischke, Alfred
Schuettpelz and Robert Schuettpelz was elected. The architect engaged was John Wolf of Shawano,
the general contractors were Felts Construction Company and the plumbing, heating and electrical
work was done by Pulcifer Hardware. Altogether the project cost approximately $65,000.00.

The sanctuary was completely repainted, new lighting fixtures installed, the stained glass windows in
the chancel and the old altar were removed and a modern altar backed by a large wooden cross
installed, the front of the church and the basement were enlarged for the addition of rest rooms below
and a large narthex on the main floor, thus eliminating the outside steps. The Walther League bought
new carpeting for the chancel and the aisles. New flooring was also put in the basement. Some
current papers were added to the box in the cornerstone of the church.

A rededication of the church was observed on May 9, 1965, with two services and a noon meal.
Pastor Goetz, president of the North Wisconsin District, preached in the morning service and Rev.
Wendling in the afternoon. All former confirmands were invited and a Dedication-Anniversary booklet
(1964 was the 60th anniversary of the church building) was printed.

During 1966, midsummer Mission Festivals were replaced by two special mission emphasis services,
in spring and in fall, one to be followed by a pot-luck dinner in the church basement. The services
and dinner in the grove north of the school had already been replaced by services in church. Also
this year we began Student Aid door offerings as we voted to participate in the Lutheran Laymen's
League efforts to help students become pastors and teachers by attending Synod's colleges and
seminaries.

That autumn, 1966, Miss Carolyn Schuette became our primary teacher. Mr. Krueger asked for his
release in November, 1966, and was succeeded in the New Year by Mr. Ron Wunder of Milwaukee.

A $665.00 sound system for our church was purchased in October, 1967, from A.B. Communications
Service, Inc. of Green Bay.

Over the years we have, at various times, helped proclaim the Gospel over the radio stations WOCO,
Oconto, and WTCH, Shawano.

Mr. Wunder stayed only a year and a half. In 1968, Mr. Terry Otto answered our call for a principal and
upper grade teacher and Miss Kathleen Okerland became primary teacher. Miss Okerland taught from
1968- 1971 and then married Wilmer Schuettpelz. Miss Anita Ford followed her and taught primary
grades for one year. Mr. Otto resigned in 1972 and Mr. David Schlicker took his place. Miss Ford's
successor was Miss Charlotte Mensing who taught from September, 1972 until April, 1975, when,
having married Frank Hoerth, they moved to Minnesota. Mrs. Esther Schlicker finished the term.

The teacherage was extensively remodeled and enlarged during 1973. The committee overseeing this
project consisted of Theodore Adams, James Brauer, and Richard Nelson. A recreation court was
marked off and paved, between the school and the teacherage.

A tract of one and one half acre of land was purchased south of the church and Zipple Construction
Co. donated $575.00 worth of work to make a fine new ball diamond and a larger parking lot for
church goers. Later, in 1983, this was black-topped to increase its durability at a cost of $9200.00

In the spring of 1973, Rev. Chellew accepted a call to West Branch, Michigan, and we again, with the
Lord's guidance, found a faithful shepherd in Rev. Floyd Gogolin from Wisconsin Rapids. The
members of the Gogolin family have endeared themselves to the members of the congregation.

A set of 23 chimes was added to the organ at a cost of $1990.00 in 1976. There is still an "Organ
Fund" growing through memorials and donations to eventually add more pipes to the organ. A small
electric organ was purchased for the church basement by the Ladies' Aid that same year.

The congregation started planning to relocate a Vietnamese or Laotian family in 1975. In 1979, a
family was sent to us from Laos, but later moved to Sheboygan where they had relatives. In October,
1980, the $173.00 remaining in our Refugee Fund was forwarded to the Lutheran Immigration and
Refugee Service.

Other things accomplished between 1979 and the present were: insulating the parsonage, replacing
the flat roof on the school addition with a pitched roof, and drilling new wells at the school and at the
parsonage.

In May, 1980, the congregation decided to add a third teacher to the parochial school staff. Miss
Nancy Schuette, primary teacher since September, 1975, retained the first three grades and Miss
Janet Homp taught grades four and five. Miss Schuette resigned in January, 1983 to become Mrs.
David Hischke and Mrs. Susan Tews finished the year. Miss Homp became Mrs. Roger Moede and
both Mrs. Hischke and Mrs. Moede are still members of St. John.

Mr. Schlicker received a call to Readlyn, Iowa, in 1981, and accepted. Mr. James Tews was called as
St. John's School teacher and principal and accepted the call. He taught from 1981-1985 when he left
for a position in Michigan. In 1983, Miss Mary Diercks became teacher of the intermediate grades and
Miss Carol Spratz of the primary, including children of kindergarten age. In September, 1985, Mrs.
Wanda Jahn agreed to teach grades six through eight and Mary Diercks, now Mary Heimerl, became
principal.

A lovely painting of the church and large photographs of all of our former (and the present) pastors
were placed in the entry of the church by Mrs. Adele Schuettpelz.

One of our younger members, Miss Beth Rakow, spent 6 weeks in Brazil last summer helping to build
a chapel in a retreat center.

A small group of women serve as volunteer "saleswomen" in Bethesda Thrift Store in Green Bay and
the Lutheran Children's Friend Society Thrift Store in Shawano one day every month.

The last few years have been devoid of any major problems or activities in our congregation. The
enlargement of our financial scope has been from the $100.00 first pledged by our charter members
to an annual budget of $117,000. $12,500 is remitted for extending God's kingdom and supporting
colleges and seminaries to the North Wisconsin-Upper Michigan District and the Missouri Synod
administration in St. Louis, Missouri.

Our congregation now numbers approximately 89 voting, 319 communicant and 414 baptized
members.

St. John congregation produced five pastors: Frank Hischke, Arnold Rakow, president of the
Lutheran Church in England, Waldemar Hischke in St. Louis, Missouri, Roland Hischke in Cedar
Rapids, Iowa, and Roland Rakow in Colby, Wisconsin.

Ruby Rakow is the wife of a missionary and Bible translator in Africa. Christian Day School teachers
originating from St. John are: Mrs. Elsie (Schuettpelz) Radl, Mrs. Ruth (Hischke) Taylor, Mrs. Ruby
(Rakow) Bruns, Mrs. Irene (Rakow) Cudworth, Mrs. Jane (Marcheske) Hanson, Mrs. Alice (Rakow)
Bahn, Mrs. Yvonne (Schuettpelz) Wilz, Mrs. Eunice (Tuschy) Loomans, Mrs. Donna (Manthei) Gerndt,
and Miss Christine Gogolin.


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